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Now ye fall of rise of ye Apostasy in point of religion was on this manner. When ye Drago Sun Moon & Stars of ye Heathen Roman empire were sp|m|itten \by {sic}/ & the great red Dragon that old serpent called ye Devil & Satan who deceived the whole world was cast out of heaven by Michal|e|l & his Angels (in ye wars between c|C|onstantine ye great & Licinius) c overcom & cast out of ye heaven of ye Roman throne then did the Devil come down o \& in its room the/ Ch{illeg}|ris|tian religion by that was in its room exalted to ye|t| throne: then did ye honour, & \riches, power & preferments/ temporal advantages {draw} \daily/ tempt ye more loose & {illeg} of this re of this religion \begin to/ tempt the heathens \& chiefly the more hypocritical/ to turn dayly to \turn/ Christians; \& |in| such converts lying in profession/ in outward profession without a in outwar out of temporal interest. {illeg} And those {illeg} \heathens/ who \fl in that time thus heathens/ flowed into ye Church \who/ for temporall interest \thus flowed into ye Church/ being the most hypocritical sort of men & under the profession of their new religion \Christianity/ retaining their old heathen manners their vices & their inclination to all kinds of superstition, they were ye Devil \be/ which \now/ came down amongst ye inhabitants of ye earth & sea {in Churches} \that is amongst ye/ Christian people of ye Eastern & Western Empires \called ye inhabitants of ye earth & sea/. For such converts being ye most hypocritical sort of men & under ye profession of Christianity retaining their old vices heathen manners, their vices & their inclination to all kinds of superstition, they \were/ still heathens in reality thô in profession Christians, they were yt \For such fals converts are truly a/ /{illeg} & may deservedly be called the\ synagogue of Satan who say they are Ie{ws} (that is Christians) & are not but do lye. & they were that Devil who now came down amg|o|ngst ye inhabitants of ye earth & sea.

In I|D|ioclesian's persecution \of ten years wch was far greater then all others put together/ the Woman cried \in heaven/ being with child of a Christian Empire cried travailing in birth & pained to be delivered & at ye same time ye great red Dragon with his tail (or of att train of attendants civil & military) drew the third part of ye starrs of heaven {illeg} or {illeg} (the saints of ye Greek empire \wch was ye third part of ye whole/) & cast them to ye earth. {illeg}|A|nd ye woman brought forth a man-child [the Chr Western Christian empire & ye under ye dominion of Constantine ye great] & the woman Dragon \or Greek Empire under Licinius/ was ready [by the treacheries of Licinus] ye Greek emperor against Constantine as Eusebius relates) to devour her child as soon as it was born: And ye manchild was caught [by ye victory of Constantine over Liciniu{s]} was caught up unto God & to his throne. [For at that time, [as we exp{lain}ed above] there was war in heaven: between Michael \[or the Manchild] & his Angels fought against ye Dragon/ & ye Dragon \fought & his a{ngels}/, & the great Dragon was cast out that old Serpent called ye Devil & Sat{an} [the heathen religion] wch deceived ye whole world. he was cast out & his angels {illeg} & I {illeg} |he was cast out unto ye {earth} [over wch he rein of ye eastern Empire]| And there was \heard/ a loud voice in heaven saying Now is come Salvation [from ye persecuting Dragon] & strength & the Kingdom of or God [{illeg} a Christian Empire] & ye power of his Christ [or dominion of his mystical body ye Christians:] For ye accuser of or brethren is cast out who [in ye persecution] accused them before or God {illeg} & they overcame him by ye blood of ye Lamb [slain afresh in his mystical body \in that persecution/] & by ye word of their testimony [the testimony of confessors & martyrs] & \[in ye persecution]/ they loved not their lives unto ye death. Therefore rejoyce ye heavens & ye yt dwell in them [the victors over ye Dragon, as many of ym as are truly saints.] Wo to ye inhabitants of ye earth & Sea [the hypocritical {illeg} part of Christians & such as should not endure ye following temptation] for ye Devil [whom Michael cast out of heaven] is [by ye flowing in of dissembling heathens who say t{hey} are I|C|hristians & are not but do lye] {illeg} come down among unto you with great wrath because he knoweth |yt| he hath but a short time [to reign am{ong} you untill he be cast \in chains/ into the bottomless pit.] |And| From these fals converts {the} Empire still keeps ye name of ye Dragon, the Manchild in being caught {up in}to heaven soon vanishing out of sight. |So then the Dragon in being cast {out} of heaven ceases not but begins a new {illeg} on earth among ye Christian inhabitants of ye earth & sea, the empire from th{illeg} the converts still keeping ye name of ye Dragon & ye Man-child in being caugh{t up}| <1v> to heaven soon vanishing out of sight – – – – – – –

Now the

– While ye Empire continued heathen Ch the small encouragements for hypocrites to turn christians was no guard upon ye s kep was a guard upon ye Christian religion to keep it from growing corrupt. For ye mystery of iniquity wch then worked could not grow to any maturity for want of hypocrites to work upon: & {illeg} but after ye ye {sic} heathen religion wch thus withheld the revelation of this mystery, was taken out of ye way that mystery no longer wanting a fit people to work upon must begin to grow proportionally to ye increase of hypocrites & so as in a short time by the prevailing of fa such fals christians to be revealed. For in a dayly flow of such converts into ye Churches it could not be but that in a few years they would hypocrites would be more then double or triple \to ye sincere/ not to say more then ten or twenty times ye|th|eir number. Now by this influx of fals converts ye mystery of iniquity grew in these respects.

First ye Churches by ye mixture & allay of such converts soon became very corrupt in manners. They that please to read ye Book of Salviā De Providentia Dei an author very sober, cordate & pious will find that within less then an hundred years \after ye Constantines victory/ the Christians \all over the Empire so far as his information reacht/ were grown \as much or/ more debaucht in manners (whoring, drinking, {illeg} swearing, lying, gaming, cheating, \{illeg} \injustice// oppression) then \even/ the {illeg} barbarous nations & old heathens & {illeg} ye various sorts of heretical christians. For This Salvian shews to satisfy his readers that God was just in subjecting ye Romans to ye violence & dominion of ye \less wicked/ Barbarous nations who in ye yeare 407 {illeg} invaded ye western empire. And if you will be at ye pains to compare him wth what you may find \to ye same purpose/ scatered upon & down in ye Ecclesiastical historians, \{illeg}/ Gregory Nazianzen, Oph{illeg} \Faustinus {illeg} \his/ Libellus precum,/ Ierom, Austin \Guil{illeg}|da|s/ & other authors of those times, as well concerning ye ambition \pride ambition,/ contention|u||sness| & other ill misdemeano|anne|rs of ye Clergy & Monks, as \those/ of ye rest of ye people; you will find sufficient reason to beleive that what Salvian wrote ye truth {illeg} impartially. {illeg} He wrote not in a peevish way to accuse his age but in a pi sober way to answer an objection made by many of his own age about ye justice of God & to satisfy them by relating the matters of fact which they to whom he wrote were judges of as well as he. Nor is't a wonder that Christians should become so vitious in so short a time seing ye most immoral of ye heathens would be most apt to turch {sic} Christians for interest & ye most ambitious Christians would seek most for preferment in ye Churches. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical history tells us that Christians betwen ye persecutions of Decius & Dioclesian through a respite of 30{illeg} or 40 years from persecution began to grow corr very corrupt in manners. And & much more would they grow corrupt \after Constan/ in a more lasting peace when they were not only freed from persecution but reigned over ye world flourished in {illeg} rices & honours & dominion over ye world & were daily allayed \& corrupted/ by ye influx of \the most hypocritical & consequently/ ye worst of heathens. It may be said indeed yt ye manners of Christians were corrected by ye persecutions they suffered under Constantius \Iulian/ & Valens: but I answer in those persecutions \sufferings/ were only in ye east \not much in ye west/ & but for a time & not directly for religion but upon accusations for various crimes, as Basil tells us of ye sufferings under Valens & Athanasius & Hilary of those under Constantius. And ye same method was used by ye King of ye Vandals against ye Africans. He cau \For when {conside} he would persecute them he caused/ their sacred virgins were \to be/ searched by midwives & those who were found vitiated, were \to be/ forced by tortures to confess \with/ whom \they/ had {illeg} {illeg}|lay|n with <2r> {them} saying d|D|icite quomodo sacerdotes vestri concumbunt vobiscum & then upon their confession about four thousand Priests & of their Bishops & Priests were banished together as Victor relate de Persecutione Vandalica relates. This I mention in confirmation of what Salvian affirms of ye Africans. For he describes them ye unchastest of all ye Romans & yt God|'s| was most just \judgment was conspicuous/ in subjecting them to ye Vandals who were ye chastest of all ye Barbarians & by their laws had almost made ye Africans themselves chast. I might instan [{illeg} \And the/ cruelty of Valens the Emperor anot & those about him in causing 80 Presbyters to be burnt in|to|gether in a ship would afford us another \notable/ instance of ye immorality of ye \those/ times were it not that \I find in/ Gregory Naz{illeg}|ianz|en tells ye story of (who lived in ye time & {illeg} when ye thing was done & neare ye place where twas done) tells yt ye story ap \yt ye first report was at first reported/ but |of| one Presbyter & makes him sentenced to be burt|n|t wth a ship in ye sight of \at Sea & of/ many people standing upon ye shore \to see ye execution done./ wch circumstance of throwing away a ship to no purpose looks very \something/ hard & suspicious{illeg} [But an earlier instanc {sic} we have in ye accusation of \contentions about/ Athanasius & some others for various crimes. For whilst Athanasius was accused of killing Arsenius &c {illeg} & contended yt Arsenius was alive & the Eusebians in ye Councel of Tyre pro in confutation thereof produced (not ye hand of Arsenius in a bag as ye vulgar story is) but) the a corps {illeg} wch they pretended to be Arsenius's for them to view who pre for them to view who pretended to know Arsenius, the strange contentions as Athanasius & three hundred Bishops of Egypt & ye West in ye \letter of ye/ Council of Sardica to ye                      affirm: the strange heats in managing these \& such like/ disputes & at length ye \easy/ consent of all ye world is a stran against Athanasius (even those few who were banished for him off] The strang controversies about Athanasius Paul of Constantinople Photius & some others It would require a large \deserves a set/ discourse to describe \fully/ the manners of this age according & I shal but |✝ But in ye mean time| ye book of Salvian alone \compared wth what we have said/ may suffice to shew that ye prophesy of ye Apostle Paul began in that age ye a in ye age \reign/ of Constantius Valens Theodosius & his sons the Prophesy of Pau ye Apostle Paul began to began to {sic} be fulfilled, that in ye last days perillous times should come wherein men should be lovers of their own selves, covetous, proud boa{illeg} boasters, proud, blasphemers &c. fals accusers, fie incontinent, fierce, despisers of those yt are good. tra lovers having a form of gob|d|liness but denying the power thereof:

A second In ye next place ye Churches \began in this age to/ inclined som to superstition placing much of religion \in/ in abstince {sic} \in/ forbidding to marry & commanding {illeg} immoderate abstinence from meats. For such was ye discipline of ye Monks & in some measure of ye clergy. How ye monks began to grow \first in Egypt & then oth in other places/ in ye reign of Constantine ye great & his sons as in that age \a few years/ incre{a}sed to an immense multitude I need not describe. The first institution is still by many applauded by but I find it faulty in these things. Moderate fasting of priva single \private/ men in private \secret/ or of ye whole church {illeg} openly {illeg} upon set occasions is commendable: but for private \an {sic} private/ man or sect {of} men to make a publick profession of fasting \& devotion/ not common to ye whole church {is} yt singularity \of the ch/ reprehended by Christ in ye Pharisees hypocritic|es|al Pharisees who loved to pray standing in ye synagogues & in ye corners of ye streets & difigured {sic} their faces that by their sad couuntenances {sic} {illeg} they might appear unto men to fast, & therefore had their reward in ye this world in ye applause of men. <2v> |And| Secondly the by perusing ye histories of these Monks I find the first Monks (written by                                          & of in I find that it \was/ a general complaint among them yt so soon upon their entring into ye profession of Monks a Monastick life they found themselves more tempted in ye flesh then before & those who became strickter professors thereof & on that account removed went by degrees further into {illeg} ye wildernesses then others did, complained most of all of temptations. The reason they gave of it was that ye devil tempted them most who went were most his enemies: but & fought most against him: but ye {illeg} true reason was partly that {illeg} the desire was inflamed by p{illeg} prohibition of \lawfull/ marriage, & partly that ye profession of chastity & perpetual \daily/ fasting on yt account put them perpetually in mind of what they strove against, & partly their idle lives gave liberty to their thoughts to follow their inclinations. & whilst The way to chastity is not to struggle \directly/ with incontinenc|t|y \thoughts/ but to avert ye the {sic} thoughts by some \some/ imployment, or meditation as \or by/ reading, ot|r| meditating on other things, or by convers. Men are By immoderate fasting the body wa \is/ also put out of its due temper & for want of natural {illeg} sleep the fansy {illeg} \is was/ invigorated about whatever it sets it self upon & \by degrees/ inclines towar so much towards a delirium & ins{omnil} in so much that those Monks yt who fasted most at length arrived to a state of {hea} seing apparitions of weomen & devils \their shapes/ & |of| hearing their voices in such a lively manner as made them \often/ to think {illeg} \the visions/ true apparitions of ye Devil tempting them to lust. \Thus while we pray that God would not lead us into tentation, these men ran \themselves/ headlong into it. And {as}/ In short |And| \as/ I have I not |not| met with more {illeg} uncleanness superstition ignorance & sottishness \folly/ in any sort of men then in ye lives of ye|these| first Monks written by their admirers Palladius,        Theodoret                            & others, so it may suffice that their profession of forbidding to marry & teaching to abstein from meats wch God has created in R is by ye Apostle condemned & made ye characte{illeg}|r| of such as in ye last times should depart from ye faith.

In ye third place it is observable that whereas the in this age ye heathen doctrine of dæmons was brought into ye Churches by {illeg} {illeg} fals miracles. \lying signes & wonders./ For after yt ye miracles of ye Apostolick age were ceased for one or & for 200 years were scarce heard of in ye churches, there began in Egypt in ye latter end of Constantius's reign a great cry \new fame/ of strange miracles \of a different kind/ done in Egypt \& Syria/ at ye tombs of ye martyrs; whereupon ye {illeg} miracle working reliques of ye Egyptian martyrs were about the beginning of ye reign of Valentinian \&/ & Valens sent from thence into all ye world &{sic} new martyrs dayly found out in several regions & their reliques carried up & down by \all places/ |ye| wandring m|M|onks carrying their reliques up & down. And so great was ye noise of ye miracles done by these reliques that D. Augustine And wth ye noise of these miracles came into ye \Churches ye/ beleife of ye Ghosts of saints being about their tombs & reliques & of \their/ being able to heare & help those yt invoked ym. whence And |to| these supersititions {sic}, through ye habitual propension of ye heathen converts, being {illeg} through education & custome propen very propense, they grew so fast in ye Churches that it may be safely said that before ye final division of ye empire the invocation of saints was grown customary. At ye same time came in allo {sic} the superstitious use \custome superstition/ of of making \working miracles by/ ye signe of ye cros, to scare away ye Devil |& do othe cure diseases & perform other miraculous effects| & the humour of writing legendary stories, & of receiving that age receiving such witings {sic} wth applause. {illeg} And lastly at that time began Christians to kill men for religion as you may see by {ye} two \sanguinary/ Edicts of Honorius against ye Donatists & \all/ others Africans \Roman {illeg} communion/ & by the proceedings against them both before & after. And whilst {illeg}be{illeg} their churches & {A} the Donatists assembled in their churches were beseiged there & {illeg} their churches burnt over their <3r> {heads}

To these instances may be added ye history of ye Banishment of Chrysostom; the contentions \carriage/ between Íerom & Ruffin; the manners & carriage of Peter Bishop of Alexandria described by Gregory Nazianzen; the wars between Basil &          bishop of Tyana about ye limits of their Bishopricks described by ye sane {sic} Gregory; the blood through wch Pope Damasus waded to ye Bishoprick of Rome \touched upon by Ammianus & some others & \fully/ described in ye Libellus precum of /; The burning of ye Churches of Constantinople & Egypt; the endeavo |passionate \and sometimes seditious/ writings of some of ye greatest men & their being approved of by the age: The| \The {sic}/ endeavours of ye western Churches to exalt their jurisdiction \jurisdiction & {dom} authority/ above ye|t| {illeg}|o|f ye Eastern, {illeg} & yt appeales should be made by all ye world to ye Bishop of Rome; t|T|he stirring up Emperor against Emperor in matters of {illeg} so as to endanger engaging them in a civil war about {illeg} Church concerns; The And the strange carria histories of ye Councels of Tyre & Sardica; & the great inconstancy of ye Romans in point of faith \{illeg} they{illeg}/ being carried about with every wind of doctrine {illeg} First the novel definitions of Arius met wth such reception as to make him in a letter to Constantine \{illeg} before ye Councel of Nice/ boast of ye multitude, then the upon ye Emperors writing a publick letter against him to be proclaimed in posted up in every city & calling ye Councel of Nice, they condemned him more almost unanimously & at ye Emperors motion received ye word homousios Consubstantial into their Creed. Then \the p{illeg} \the wind turning again they// at ye Council of Ariminum they rejected ye same word {illeg} as universally And To & soon after upon a new turn of affairs they received \embraced/ it again: the same men in one Councel subscribing under oath to a one thing in another to ye Contrary. Which shews that ye age was {illeg} as the west complying wth Valentinian & Liberius, \Ægypt wth Athan/ the East \first/ with Valens & then \Athanas/ with Theodosius; the same men in one Councel subscribing under oath to one thing in another to ye contrary & being allowed to do so. Which shews that ye {illeg} were as {illeg} \age/ was \perfectly/ such as Nazianzen describes it to be, ready for any side according to ye turn of ye times, {illeg} as ready to turn for interest to any Christian party as a little before from heathenism to Christianity for for ye same interest. Whence we need not wonder at yt in ye short reign of Constantius over ye west ye world should turn so universally as to make Athanasius {illeg} f{illeg} occasion ye proverb, Athanasius contra Mundum, & make Nazianzen of opinion yt Athanasius (soon after ye death of Constantius) was ye first that discovered & manifested lyed to \by divine inspiration discovered & /manifested\/ to ye world the Deity of ye Holy Ghost, ye world not bearing in Church in its more tender age not bearing wth so great a mystery.

[* the error of ye western Churches from ye sense of ye Nicene Councel in ye sense of ye word {illeg} Homoüsios they]

I hope I have now sufficiently proved that the times age from ye \first/ Conversion of ye Empire to Christianity \declined/ perpetually in manners by ye influx of immora{l} \& hypocritical/ heathens: so as wthin 30 or 40 \a few/ years to {illeg} even become {illeg} as immoral as \perhaps/ or own times & {illeg} wthin 80 or 100 to have become more degenerate if it exceeded us become more corrupt |become as hypocritical & {illeg} vitious as or perhaps more immoral then our own times at least|: {illeg} the most immoral \vitiou immoral/ of ye heathens being apt to turn first & so make ye Churches {illeg} more deg so by their convers |to| make ye rest of y Christians more \as much or/ corrupt the this \at least as/ ye heathens wch remained unconverted. In shewing this I have insisted upo most upon ye manners of ye Catholicks, there being no need to prove ye corruptness of ye rest. And whilst I compare those times wth or own it makes me like or own ye better & ho{illeg}|n|our or clergy ye more, accounting them \not only men/ of better morals & \but also/ far more judicious & knowing. Tis ye nature of man to admire most \least/ what he is least \most/ acquainted with: Men & this makes us always think ye worst of or own times ye worst. Men are not sainted till their mor vices be forgotten. & then dying same superstition that The \old/ heathens first commemorated their dead men then admired them, afterwards adored them \as Gods, then raised them above newer G{illeg}|ods| so as to make them Gos {sic} celestial/ & at length equalled them to ye the first of them to ye supreme God, {illeg} as ye Egyptians \did/ Osiris, the Assyrians Baal, the Greeks Iupiter). {illeg}

<3v>

came yt ye Virgin Mary was mad first honoured wth ye name of Deipara & then made ye Queen of heaven: the ages past are The Virg And so So we if we {illeg} have a kindness for any age we are apt to deify it when old eng enough. thô in truth it were no better then And as ye most superstitious & ignorant heathens were most apt to raise the estimation of their Gods till they could raise them no higher, so the most superstitious But this is ye fault of stuperstion {sic}

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And whilst ye Councel of Nice & ye Greeks universally understood ye word homoüsio|u|s or consubstantial of two substances of like nature and some of them those of them \who followed ye Councel/ interpreted it of two equal substances others of two unequal ones others & ye Latines translated it unius substantiæ of one substance & \by one substance/ understood it of one singular substance. till Constantius conquering ye West brought them to conferr wth ye Greek Constantius conquering ye West brought them to \And/ {illeg}thereupon the|y| Latines & Greeks \& then/ accused ye Greeks of Arianism for dividing ye substances of ye Father & son & ye Greeks mutually accused the Greeks \Latines/ of Sabellianism for unitin making them one in singular substance {illeg} This [Then ye Greeks upon \number singular substance. Afterwards/ Constantius conquering ye West & bringing them \both parties/ to confer together in Councels they de both par both parties ye Acts of ye Counce sense of ye Councel of Nice being discust both parties agreed to stand to it that sense but yet to abrogate ye {illeg} use of ye word Homoüsius & that for several reasons: First because these reasons being alledged again] till ye the Latines were \being were/ made to understand ye Councel of Nice \better [they/ {illeg} & express qualified ye unity of substance by ye distinction of persons,] nor did that \the distinction of persons/ suffice to end \all/ ye dispute till] {illeg} /{illeg}\ \& then/ in ye councel of Alexandria the latin latine language of one substance & three persons was reconciled to ye Greeke of one hypo usia or essence, \or nature/ & three hypostases {illeg} or substan to per substan |both| being expounded of one substance in kind or nature & three substantial persons in in number. [An til so yt {illeg} \then In ye meane/ /At that\ time ye Greeks became divided & subdivided into many parties, some of that|os|e who \some/ owned [the [Councel of Nice \& of these some/ understan|oo|ding the Father & son to be equal in per omnia equal others unequal, some per omnia similes other's only similes or similes quoad substantiam or {illeg} similes secundum scripturas \other some joyned only ye son wth ye father in ye/. Others dissimiles receded from ye Councel of Nice & held them dissimiles they also] both ye \sence &/ language & sense of ye councel of Nice & of these some \with Athasius {sic}/ {illeg} joyned ye Holy Ghost in ye Consubstantiality others wth ye Father & son{illeg}, others \with Macedonius/ did not did not: mos Others owned ye sence of ye Counsel of Nice but not its language pretending it novel \& contrary to ye ancienter decree of ye Councel of Antioch/ & by \its/ ambiguity apt to give see be misunderstood by ye people & of these some {illeg} of these some held ye son per om] And at ye same time ye Greeks became divided \& subdivided/ into many parties: so great was ye levity \{illeg} & {illeg}/ of those times.] Thus easily did ye Latines first vary from ye Councel of Nice by me & then return to it again

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Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

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